via Govt disbands EU re-engagement committee | The Herald January 15, 2014 by Tendai Mugabe
Government has disbanded the re-engagement committee put in place to explore ways of normalising relations with the European Union during the tenure of the inclusive Government.
The committee comprised the then Justice and Legal Affairs Minister Patrick Chinamasa (zanu-pf), former Energy and Power Development Minister Elton Mangoma (mdc-t) and former Regional Integration and International Co-operation Minister Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga (mdc).
The committee was expected, among other things, to engage the eu and facilitate normalisation of relations.
The ultimate objective was to reach a point where illegal sanctions imposed by the 27-member bloc on Zimbabwe were unconditionally lifted.
Secretary for Foreign Affairs Ambassador Joey Bimha told The Herald yesterday that the re-engagement structure had been dismantled.
“We only engaged the eu during the time of the inclusive Government. After holding elections that were recognised by the United Nations, the African Union and the majority of the international community, we no longer have that re-engagement structure that we used to have during the time of the inclusive Government.
“The eu has to remove the sanctions because they are illegal in the first place. Why should we engage them? The ball is in their court,” he said.
Since inception in 2009, the re-engagement committee failed to make significant headway as the eu was reluctant to treat Zimbabwe as an equal.
In a show of arrogance and insincerity, the eu frustrated efforts to get to the negotiating table.
Minister Chinamasa was detained in Europe on several occasions as he travelled for the talks.
In July 2009, he was detained at Frankfurt International Airport in Munich, Germany, for six hours.
He wanted to connect to Belgium, but German immigration officials insisted that Minister Chinamasa was on an eu travel embargo and could not proceed to Brussels.
Last year, the eu’s duplicity on the re-engagement dialogue was exposed after the bloc refused to honour its pledge on Zimbabwe’s elections. The eu publicly announced that it would remove its illegal sanctions if sadc pronounced the 2013 harmonised elections free and fair.
When sadc, au, the un and several other international organisations declared the elections were a true reflection of the people’s will, the eu still refused to lift the sanctions.